San Diego, September 7, 2006. A jury returned a verdict of over 2.5 million dollars against two companies, including Toyobo Co. Ltd., a major Japanese manufacturing corporation, based on their sale and marketing of defective “zylon” bullet proof vests to police officers throughout the United States. Police officer Tony Zeppetella was killed after a bullet passed through his Zylon vest and inflicted a fatal chest wound. For a number of years, Toyobo, along with it’s American partner, the now bankrupt Second Chance Body Armor, hid the defects in the vest from their police customers. A jury found the companies liable for failing to warn policemen about the defects in the vests, and awarded Officer Zeppetella’s widow 2.5. Million dollars in damages.
IRS taxing of non-wage damages is “unconstitutional”
Washington, D.C. July 18, 2006. The Department of Justice Office of Professional Responsibility (“OPR”) found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) violated the Whistleblower Protection Act and engaged in a “prohibited reprisal” against FBI Supervisory Special Agent/Unit Chief Bassem Youssef in retaliation for his “protected” whistleblower “disclosure.”
Prominent Civil Rights Leaders Condemn EPA’s Unethical Retaliation
Washington, D.C. – July 4, 2006. In testimony submitted before the House Committee on Government Reform, the Chair of the National Whistleblowers Center, Stephen M. Kohn, proposed new legislation which would create the first comprehensive national whistleblower protection law.
Washington, DC, June 15, 2006. Today the heads of two whistleblower advocate groups sent a letter urging the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to close a loophole in pending legislation, the Federal Employee Protection of Disclosure Act. In the letter, the Chairman of the National Whistleblowers Center, Stephen M. Kohn and the Director of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition, Sibel Edmonds, explained the potential harm to whistleblowers if this issue is not addressed and expressed their support of the other sections of the bill.
Washington, D.C., June 3, 2006 - Stephen M. Kohn, Chairman of the National Whistleblowers Center, appeared on CSPAN’s Washington Journal to discuss the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Garcetti v. Ceballos.
5-4 Majority Strips Most Government Whistleblowers of Legal Protections
Washington, D.C., May 9, 2006. The United States Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) unanimously overturned the decision of an MSPB judge which had stripped all “Title 42” federal employees of their protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act (“WPA”). The MSPB ruling sets important national precedent ensuring that the thousands of Title 42 federal employees – many working in highly sensitive health and safety positions within the federal government – are fully protected under the whistleblower laws.
April 17, 2006, Washington, DC. Today the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in the case of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway v. White. At issue is whether an employer may be held liable for retaliatory discrimination for any adverse treatment that would "reasonably likely to deter" an employee from engaging in protected activity.
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